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Kyle Brown © Gallo Images

Q&A: 7s captain Kyle Brown

Springbok Sevens captain Kyle Brown joined us on Wednesday for a Q&A session with our readers.

Kyle is currently in Australia's Gold Coast preparing with the team ahead of this weekend's opening round of the IRB Sevens Series, but has kindly given some of his time to answer any question you may have around the game.

Below is what he had to say.

The question and answer session has closed.

Questions and answers
JC asked:
Hi Kyle

What are your thoughts about the new season? How does this year''s team compare to last year''s, and do you guys think you have a realistic chance for title honours this year?
Hi JC, thanks for joining us today! It's just turned 20.40 in Brisbane.

All the guys are very excited to get on the field, it's been a great pre-season and build-up and we're looking forward to it!
The team is quite a settled one with the inclusion of only 2 new caps, Reuben Johannes and Ruwellyn Isbell.
I always feel that if we play up to our potential and play the rugby we know we can play then we definitely have a realistic chance.
Jacques asked:
Thanks for taking the time to chat to us. I''m a big fan of you and the team.

I think it''s fair to say you guys struggled on defence last year. Are there any specific steps you took to make sure we improved in that area this year?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hey Jacques,

thanks for the question and your support.

I agree we did struggle a fair bit in defence last year - the defensive structure in Sevens is built around understanding each other and making your first time hits. Over the last couple weeks we've got to understand each other better, and as for first time hits that comes down to the individual making that decision to put his body on the line.
Johan Le Roux asked:
Hi Kyle, thank you for your time and good luck with the season ahead!

What has been done differently in this preseason than for example last year where things maybe didn''t go as planned?

Proud BlitzBokke supporter
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Johan,

A lot of the off/pre-season was spent getting guys back into shape and making sure they'll be on the field this weekend. We focused a lot on our fitness, and exploring new attacking options.
Warrie asked:
Hi Capi,,,, you earn it to be the captain of the team, all the best for the up coming tours,,, you guys can do it,,,, keep in mind to please run with the ball.... we namibians, stand behind you guys.....
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Warrie,

Always appreciate the support bud! thanks very much
Charles asked:
I remember a couple of seasons aga how you guys made regular use of the boot to force lineouts, there was even the odd rolling maul in your matches.

Have you abadoned those "out of the Boks" ideas, or can we expect to see more of it at some time?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Charles,

Some of the time those "out of the box" ideas are used to catch teams off guard, but once used teams start to expect them - so we'll have to think up some new ones, and i know coach is always hard at work with tactical analysis.
Heinrich asked:
What is our plan to take on the kiwis this coming season.The other teams we can match.
Kyle Brown answered:
Hey Heinrich,

I think against any team it comes down to execution and implementation of the gameplan - the team that can enforce their tactics on the other team will have the upper hand.
We are 2 totally different teams, so we need to make sure that we execute our plan meticulously and for the full duration of the game.
bob asked:
Hi Kyle.I hope you are as frustrated as i am of the 15 man a side as of the 7s.What are you guys doing about runnong NZ close not occassionly but always.Cheers bob
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Bob,

I too am frustrated, please check the answer to Heinrich's question above.

Desmond Oliphant asked:
Morning Kyle ,
Would you say your team is ready for the upcoming tournament? What is the update on injuries or is everyone fit to play? All the best for you and your team , make us proud and I cant wait to see you guys in action come December.
Hey Desmond,

we're always looking forward to coming back to PE, and enjoying your hearty support!
As far the injury report goes, we're all good to go!
Juan asked:
What is your favourite tournament to play in, other than in SA?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hey Juan,

there are so many fantastic locations on the circuit -I enjoy a couple for different reasons.
Hong Kong and Wellington for the incredibly festive atmosphere.
I particularly like playing at Twickenham but just for the surface, it's a great pitch.
Aside from that, none of those top home ground!
Justin asked:
Hi Kyle

Thanks for taking time to answer quietions. Do we have the firepower this time around to win the competion and stop teams like New Zeeland and Auz was the prep good?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Justin,

We're a team with unique strengths and we've got some tough boys too. The series will be won by the team that plays the most consistently good rugby, and thats something we always strive towards.
Fanie asked:
If you could choose only one of the current 15s Springbok side to run out for you guys this weekend, who will it be?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Fanie,

thanks for the interesting question: I reckon it would be great to pick between Bjorn Basson and Francois Hougaard.
Bjorn for his fantastic aerial skills (kickoffs being very important in 7's) and his pace. Francois for his unique gamebreaking ability and elusive footwork.
Dave asked:
I wonder why is it that we struggle against a side like Fiji so much? Is it a mental thing or shouldn''t we be able to beat them by now?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Dave,

the Fijian culture is absolutely immersed in Sevens rugby which makes them an extremely difficult opposition to beat. They have a good athletes that are very well suited to the game. It's our job to out smart them on the field and we are working hard to be more consistent in our victories.
tsolo asked:
What ever happened to Sampie Mastriet and Sbu Sithole, why can''t they play for the sevens team anymore?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Tsolo,

thanks for the question - they were 2 great players that have chosen a different path in professional rugby. This weekend we have some fantastic talent on show in the form of Tshotsho Mbovane and Ruwellyn Isbell.
Marco Botha asked:
Kyle, with all the young players we had to use in the previous season, Frankie mentioned that that added responsiblity of looking after the youngsters as well had a negative influence on the senior players, even though you guys did that what a positive attitude. Does it make it easier for you guys to focus on your own games now that there are only two new caps in the side? All the best! M
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Marco,

thanks for the great questions. I'm going to try run through them in this answer.
Yes we believe we can beat any team on our day, we just have to make it our day more often.
Please check the answer to Dave regarding Fiji.
It is interesting to see a lot of new faces, and a settled side obviously helps when doing video analysis but for this tournament we'll being focusing on our game and expecting anything and everything from new players in the opposition team.
It's very difficult to say that teams will ever underestimate the Springboks.
It is the responsibility of all the senior players to mentor new caps and help the younger players to settle into the world of professional Sevens rugby.

thanks again.
Justin asked:
hi Kyle

What do you think the teams chances are against the All Blacks and Fiji this season ? Last season was quite a nightmare against theses teams. Good luck and make us proud !!
P.S a signed jersey would be nice , hahaha just joking
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Justin,

please have a look at the previous answers and let me know if that answers it?

JP asked:
Hi Kyle,

We saw at the commonwealth games NZ and Aus bringing in some talent from the 15''s game, I noticed that SA didnt. Do you feel that you are put at a disadvantage by this, or would you like to have the option to get your squad bolstered for the Olympics?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hey JP,

Sometimes it's difficult to bring 15's players into a Sevens squad, Sevens requires a unique set of skills that often takes players a while to master - there are many great players in the 15's teams and it would be great if they could spend some time in our setup to contribute to the current squad for the Olympic & Commonwealth Games.
Julian Ives asked:
Hi Kyle, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule for blitzbokke fans.

Firstly, were you and the team happy/dissapointed with the 5th place finish last season? Is it reasonable for the fans to expect better this season?

Secondly, we saw towards the end of last season that a lack of depth in our squad created a huge gap between us and the likes of New Zealand and Fiji. Has this been attended to? Do you think this has improved enough since then to avoid a repeat?

Good luck for the coming season!
Kyle Brown answered:
Hey Julian,

You make some solid observations, we were very disappointed with the 5th place last season and we have put in a massive amount of effort to improve on that.
Injuries are always part of the game, but thankfully we have a fully fit squad going into the weekend.
Jason Mingo asked:
Hi Kyle, considering your success in sevens, do you ever think of taking the step to the fifteen man game? Well done on all that you have achieved!
Kyle Brown answered:
Hey Jason,

Thanks very much for the support bud. I've chosen to focus on Sevens as my career in rugby, and am really enjoying the setup. I don't have any plans to move into 15's.

Hope you well
DUANE asked:

I understand there''s a lot of new staff and players. what is the mood in the camp, amongst players and management?

As a youngish team, building to the Olympics, do you see this team as a possible gold medalist at the next olympics?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Duane,

There actually aren't many new individuals in our system. The Olympics is an amazing goal for young rugby players to strive towards in the future, but for now we concentrate on the job at hand - Gold Coast Sevens, and take it tournament for tournament!
Patrick Meyer asked:
Hi Kyle, will you and some of the current Bok Sevens Stars be in action in the newly established George 7''s Premier league which takes place at Outeniqua Park after the Port Elizabeth Sevens Tournament.
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Patrick,

At the stage I dont know who will be involved in that tournament but we will being using the time to prepare for the Wellington and Las Vegas Sevens tournaments.
Andree Apollis asked:
1.As a captain and team, what area/s do you think you can still improve on after all the pre season preparations, if any?
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Andree,

It's always tough to get enough actual match preparation and to be able to to simulate game situations.
Wihan Bester asked:
Hi Kyle

What''s the vibe like in the squad?

Good luck!!

Kyle Brown answered:
Hey Wihan,

We've always had a great vibe in the squad, we are a diverse group of individuals that feed off each others energy. There are some great characters in the team like Cornal Hendriks and Chris Dry that keep the laughs coming!
solly balata asked:
hi paul, jy moet n bietjie boland toe gaan daar is baie goeie 7 spelers. saterdag was finale van 15 man kode en baie talent was te sien.
Kyle Brown answered:
Hi Solly,

Unfortunately, it's just me answering questions tonight but thanks for your support.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to join us tonight and the team appreciates your unyielding support through the thick and thin.


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